Kawhiti – A Peek Down Below

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Kawhiti – A Peek Down Below

Kawhiti, the 42′, 1952 Collings & Bell bridgedecker has appeared on ww before – check out the link below for details on her past. Today’s post, thanks to her trademe listing, gives us a look down below.


Awatea @ Thames

Mystery Launch @ Thames

Awatea @ Thames

Check out the mud berth, these guys must get a few seasons out of their anti-fowl paint, 1/2 the day they are high & dry 😉

The above photo was sent in by Nathan Herbert & we have no details on the launch. Aside from the luggage rack on top of the cockpit roof , she is quite a pretty ship, in my eyes.

Anyone able to tells some more about the vessel?

Update – a collection of photos below from Nathan Herbert & Ken Ricketts from over the years – my question is – whats the current name of the launch, can a Thames woody confirm she is named ‘Awatea” ? (It is – thx Jason P)


Updated Details (ex Ken Ricketts) Her original name was Flolaine after the owners wife Flo & daughter in law Elaine, & was built by & for Major (a Christian name) Bailey, in a shed, a behind his Caltex Service Station, (Southdown Motors),  in Penrose, in 1958. She is now Called Awatea. – She is powered by a 6 cyl 80/100 hp Ford diesel .
She was not built with a flying bridge but one had been added by an owner somewhere along the way, back around the 1970s/80s, when she was living at Westpark Marina.

The Baileys owned her for several years & replaced her with another 34′ launch Major B. built in the 1960’s called Christine (photo below)

CHRISTINE in the 1970's



Nunui, Bulwer 1969 just launched 30 10 2015

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When woody Brynn McCauley was researching Wainui, his grandfathers 1950’s era Marlbourough Sounds fishing boat (now owned by Cameron Pollard) Brynn discovered the whereabouts of Nunui,  his grandfathers last working fishing boat. Nunui was/is….. a small clinker built c.1969 motor boat, that unfortunately has ended its days in Porirua, (photo below).
Brynn commented that he suspects she was originally a row boat that was used to row out to the scows from the shallow bays in the Sounds.
Its amazing that this was a working fishing boat that went way out into the Cook Strait. Those old seamen knew a thing or two and were pretty fearless.
The b/w photo is dated c. 1969 & was taken just after her launching. The colour photo is c.1978.

Do we know any more about her past?

Nunui at Porirua



Highland Lass

Te papa 1950s, by Eric Lee-Johnson Whangarei basin

Highland Lass

The launch in the centre of the above photo (by Eric Lee-Johnson & ex Te Papa) appears to be berthed in the Whangarei Basin. Nathan Herbert sent it in to ww & all we know is that the photo is dated c.1950’s.

So woodys – does any one recognize the boat ?

Update 15-05-2015 Thanks to Harold Kidd & Nathan Herbert we now know she was built by Dick Hartley in 1949 & is named ‘Highland Lass’


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Sanson was built in 1951 by Shipbuilders & is a carvel planked semi-displacement classic launch, approx. 25′ in length. Zoom zoom comes from a 2 cylinder 25hp Shibaru Ford diesel engine.

That is about all I know about her, can any woodys (Northland based – she lives near Dove Cove) help out with more details?


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The 38′ classic launch Yvonne was built in 1954 by Swanson in the Marlborough Sounds. She is a very distinctive design & with a 160hp Isuzu diesel she must left her skirt & really get up & go. Based in the Sounds & after 22 years of ownership, Yvonne is now ready for a new owner. Thx to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up 🙂

Anyone able to supply more details on her?

Input from John Wicks
“Very “avante garde” styling for the time – and still looking good!!!
Bob Swanson built her at Blackwood Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, for Jack Thompson, a farmer out Ward way, who kept her for many years – could be she’s only had 2 owners? Jack named after his wife, Yvonne, a very gracious lady.
Can’t remember what her original engine was, but I do recall Jack talking about the possibility of putting in a small gas turbine. At the time there were experiments overseas with these, but I don’t know how serious he was.
Jack was a friend of my father’s (Sorry Alan) and when the first Picton marina was built they moved into adjacent berths. IIRC this involved a certain amount of the testing of water purifying fluids.”

05-05-2017 – A Peek Down Below
Thanks to the photos below ex Jo Utting (owners family) via Ken Ricketts we get a glimpse of what must be her original  interior.

Seacraft Woodys







I was recently contacted by Chris Laird & his first words were “are you guys interested in small woodys?”. My answer was ‘if its wood, its good’ 🙂

The above photographs show two dinghies that Chris restored  a couple of years ago. The 12ft 6in Seacraft Tuna has been stripped back and had new rib sections, one or two splines to cracked planks, seats, foredeck trim and beltings before being painted up to original Seacraft colours with original badging.

The varnished 12’6″ Brin Wilson has been stripped back, seats  etc removed, some rib sections scarfed in, several splines to cracked planks and varnished / painted up to original colours.
Chris commented that it is a lovely boat to row.

Also included are photos of a 6hp Norman and original cone clutch that is in a 16′ Seacraft cabin boat that Chris is currently rebuilding. I have asked Chris to send in photos of that project.

Over the Anzac weekend a lot of the classic fleet headed north to Kawau Island. Anchoring room near the Kawau Boating Club is always at a premium on long weekends & no one likes a long row in the dark……….. but even the old salts can get it wrong – the crew on the  1905, Logan Bros, ex pilot boat ‘Ferro’ must have been in a hurry to make the KBC as they anchored rather close in. As it turned out, too close in – the below photo was 1/2hr before low tide & mid Sunday morning – would have been a long / embarrassing day waiting for the tide 😉

Ferro @ Kawau April2017